Walter Richard Sickert

Harold Gilman


Not on display

Walter Richard Sickert 1860–1942
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 610 × 457 mm
frame: 795 × 652 × 100 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1957

Display caption

Gilman became friends with Sickert in 1906 and often attended the discussions and exhibitions held in his studio at 19 Fitzroy Street. Sickert’s penetrating portrait of his fellow artist reflects their close friendship during this period.

Sickert painted several portraits of his Camden Town Group colleagues. The bright colours and thin, dry application of the paint shown here is characteristic of paintings by members of this group.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


The Camden Town Group made a small but distinguished number of self-portraits and portraits of one another. Malcolm Drummond’s oil of Ginner c.1911 (fig.1) was included in the second Camden Town Group exhibition in December 1911 (41), and Spencer Gore and Harold Gilman both painted portraits of Stanislawa de Karlowska, Robert Bevan’s wife. Drummond also painted the famous group portrait of J.B. Manson, Gore and Charles Ginner considering a painting in 19 Fitzroy Street c.1913–14 (fig.2). Such activities imply a strong sense of self-identity among the group, and to a certain degree a shared desire to monumentalise its principles. In this they recall other artist groups who commemorated themselves, notably the Nazarenes and the Pre-Raphaelites. But portraiture, albeit of a naturalistic, informal, uncommissioned kind, was a recurrent activity in Camden Town painting. Gore painted numerous pictures of his wife (see Tate T03561); Gilman painted a number of his female friends, and notably the sequence of pictures of his landlady Mrs Mounter (see Tate N05317); and Sickert’s arrangements of Hubby and Marie might also be thought of as a kind of assumed domestic portraiture (see Tate N03846).

Sickert painted this portrait of Gilman and presented it to him as a gift. Sylvia Gilman, the artist’s second wife, wrote in a letter to the Tate Gallery in 1958:

Robert Upstone
May 2009


Sylvia Gilman, letter to Tate Gallery, 13 May 1958, Tate Catalogue file.
Wendy Baron, Sickert: Paintings and Drawings, New Haven and London 2006, no.386.
Frank Rutter, ‘The Work of Harold Gilman and Spencer Gore. A Definitive Survey’, Studio, vol.101, no.456, March 1931, p.207.
Exhibition of the Work of English Post-Impressionists, Cubists and Others, Public Art Galleries, Brighton, December 1913–January 1914.
Baron 2000, p.72.
Wyndham Lewis and Louis F. Fergusson, Harold Gilman: An Appreciation, London 1919, p.13.
Walter Sickert, ‘The New English Art Club’, New Age, 4 June 1912, p.115, in Anna Gruetzner Robins (ed.), Walter Sickert: The Complete Writings on Art, Oxford 2000, pp.374–5.
New Age, 11 June 1914, p.143.
Walter Sickert, ‘The Thickest Painters in London’, New Age, 18 June 1914, p.155, in Robins (ed.) 2000, pp.380–1.
Harold Harrison, ‘Sickertine’, New Age, 2 July 1914, p.215.
Hugh Blaker, ‘Design in Painting’, New Age, 25 June 1914, p.191.
Douglas Fox Pitt, ‘Art Critics’, New Age, 2 July 1914, p.215.

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